New logo dropped because of public criticism

New logo designs often get a scathing response from the public, but it's a rare case that causes so much backlash that the design gets dropped. That's what's happened to a new logo design for Israel's National Library.

Such was the reaction to the new design that it's been announced that the library will go back to its previous logo until another one can be created (see our tips on how to design a logo for advice on avoiding such an unhappy end for your own work).

National Library of Israel logo

The existing logo (left) and the rejected new design (right) (Image credit: National Library of Israel)

Anyone unveiling a new logo can expect to face a certain degree of negative feedback from the public. The criticism can be the result of various factors, from specific design to decisions to an attachment to the old design and a general resistance to change. In the case of the National Library of Israel, it appears that the biggest complaint was a lack of symbolism.

The controversy began when the National Library published the new logo on its Facebook page last week. As reported by Ynet, the response ranged from disbelief to fury. While some argued that the logo was boring and lacked distinctiveness, and much of the criticism was due to the lack of national symbols.

"The symbol is disconnected, cold and alienated, lacking identity and emotion, and without any unique or national meaning," one person was quoted as saying. "From a logo with meaning and a statement that distinguishes the place, you have moved to a generic logo that is not clear what it wants to symbolize," someone else wrote. 

"It's not just the color, it's the lack of prominence of the Hebrew language (and what was wrong with the previous, special font?), it's the disappearance of the book that alludes to the People of the Book, the disappearance of the allusion to the flag, to the tallit. You have emptied the symbol of all nationalism, Zionism and identity. You turned it into nothing," someone else reportedly wrote.

By Sunday the library had decided to return to the previous logo, a design that depicts an open book in the blue and white of Israel's flag. "The change sparked an important and wide-ranging public discussion. This discussion testifies to the emotional and strong connection between the public, in all its varieties, and the National Library," The library wrote in a statement. 

It's another reminder of how much a logo design can mean to people, and the dangers of radical changes. See our pick of the best new logos for examples that got it right.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.